Greek Souvlaki has to be my all time, favourite fast food.

The Greek Souvlaki was always a very cheap way of eating in Greece, years ago a few drachma would get you a Souvlaki!

Greek Souvlaki

You will find Souvlaki Shops in every city, town and village.
They are filling, fantastically tasty and cheap. Rarely would you buy Souvlaki to sit in and eat, you would buy and take away or eat as you stroll along.

Greeks from all walks of life, young and old love souvlaki.

A Souvlaki is made up of meat - normally pork, cooked on a vertical spit, where layers upon layers of thin slices of meat are speared with a skewer - souvla.
Greek Souvlaki GyrosAs the meat is layered it is seasoned with salt and pepper and some herbs and spices. The souvla is then upended and placed in front of a vertical grill. The souvla slowly turns, cooking the outer pieces of meat as it passes the grill.

The meat from this is called gyros (yee-ros)- which means to turn.

Although the grill used to be shelves of charcoal and the meat souvla would be turned by hand, this has now been modernised to an electric turning spit and normally a gas grill.

As the meat cooks, pieces of fat in the meat melt and slowly baste the lower levels of meat, tenderising and flavouring them.

Once the meat is cooked, using large sharp knifes they shave very thin slices of the meat off the souvla, allowing the meat underneath to carry on cooking. The end result is a wonderful, mouth watering, melt in your mouth, tastiest meat you've ever had.

To make up a Greek Souvlaki, first start with the pita bread. This pita bread is different in Greece to the pita bread found in other parts of the world like in UK or Australia. It is quite small, round and moist. It is not the type to split open and stuff, and you dont toast it. When you roll the pita up, it doesn't crack or dry up like its foreign equivalents.

Greek Tzatziki for SouvlakiThe pita is warmed on an oiled hot plate. Tzatziki is spread over the pita, then they add thin slices of tomatoes and onions, the meat and sometimes a few hot potato chips. Its then all tightly wrapped up, covered in a greased paper ready to hold and eat.

Pork is traditionally the meat cooked on a souvla, althoug these days you can get other meats at some Souvlaki Shops. Beef or Chicken Souvlaki are becoming quite popular, especially among young Greeks.

With Chicken Souvlaki, sometimes they replace the tzatziki with a mustard mayonaise sauce.
In some places the meat is cubed, cooked on small skewers, the meat is then removed from the skewer and put into the souvlaki. This is called Kalimaki. Another variation is a mincemeat mixture, made from lamb, a little like meatball or burger mixure cooked on skewers. These are called kebabs.

If you do decide to get Souvlaki and eat in, just be careful that the price is not bumped up too much. There are some Souvlaki Shops, especially around Plaka that charge several times the price of a take away Souvlaki, just for the privilege of sitting within sight of the Acropolis!

You must try one of these when you are in Greece.

The Greek Souvlaki shop is called a Souvlatzithiko - sou-vla-tzi-thi-ko.

Try this Greek Souvlaki recipe to make at home.

Return from Greek Souvlaki Shops to Eating Out in Greece

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Follow us on Facebook

facebook Ultimate Guide to Greek Food

Check out these popular pages!

Click on any image below

Greek Food Store Greek Movies Serving Platters Dessert bowls Greek Music Greek Recipe Books Visit Greece Kitchen Knives Products of Greece Cooking Gadgets